I got a call from a friend of a friend last week. He works for a company that does commercials and the like in town. They were getting ready to shoot a commercial for some children’s hospital in West Virginia and needed some babies.
You see where this is going.
So! At 7:30 this morning (gah), JR and I trekked down to Shockoe Bottom so he could pal around with some other babies in front of a camera for a few hours. Conveniently, that palling around would also include a nice monetary reward* for not too many hours of work.
We ended up being kind of late for the shoot which made me want to die. I blame it completely on the fact that I’m trying to not be an obsessive psycho about details. But the one time I didn’t obsess was the one time we weren’t where we supposed to be when we were supposed to be there. Lesson learned: continue to be a psycho and anyone who says otherwise knows nothing. Anyway, they were very cool about it and quickly ushered us into a back room where JR was outfitted in a onesie printed with some kind of cutsie, babyish phrase. He was then whisked off to sit in front of the camera pretty much right away.
I have to be honest, when I saw him sitting there at first I thought, “Oh, I just want to take him home. I don’t know if I can do this.” He just looked so confused and all, “What? What is happening? Who are all of you?” But he ended up doing pretty well at first. He basically had to sit there and look cute. He even smiled a bit at the nice lady making a damn fool out of herself off to the side of the camera (she was really wonderful, though). But then he started sucking his thumb, and they didn’t want him to be sucking his thumb, so the nice lady gently removed his thumb from his mouth. And there was much woe. Luckily they were all very sensitive to how babies will just lose their shit sometimes and didn’t give me looks like “Ugh what is wrong with him? SHAKE IT OFF, KID.”
The rest of the morning was spent changing JR in and out of other onesies with more cutsie phrases, sitting him next to other babies, and keeping the Cheerios flowing. They got some good footage of him (including his Quasimodo crawl which apparently blew the director’s mind) and he saved his complete meltdown for right when we left.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a morning. Weird, yes. But not bad. I’m not sure if we’ll ever do it again. Although it was nice to spend the few days leading up to the shooting reminding that JR that he was going to finally earn his keep.
*Let it be known that all funds earned today will be deposited directly into JR’s 529. Even though one of us (NOT ME) immediately thought that we should by Beatles Rock Band.